Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl rejected the chance to sign Josh King from Bournemouth as part of a part-exchange Shane Long deal – because he doesn’t rate him, Football Insider can reveal.
King signed for Everton late on deadline day to bring to an end a race that took in multiple Premier League clubs across two windows.
A Southampton source has told Football Insider that Hasenhuttl had the opportunity to beat Carlo Ancelotti’s side to the capture of King.
During negotiations about the Long loan transfer to Bournemouth that was sealed on deadline day, King was mooted in part-exchange.
The deal would have seen Southampton pay a fee to the Cherries as well as loan out Long.
However, Hasenhuttl knocked back the possibility and instead pushed for Takumi Minamino, who eventually signed on loan from Liverpool for the rest of the campaign.
He effectively takes up the forward position in the Saints squad vacated by long-serving Republic of Ireland international Long.
Hasenhuttl does not rate King highly enough and felt he would not have been an upgrade on the existing members of his squad.
The Norway international eventually signed for Everton on a short-term deal running for the rest of the campaign.
The Merseysiders will pay a “nominal” fee for the versatile attacker and Bournemouth will no longer have to foot his wages.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) February 2, 2021
King was the subject of a deadline day race that eventually boiled down to Everton and Fulham after the withdrawal of the likes of West Ham.
He opted to join Everton as he regards them as more prestigious and has strong connections in the north-west.
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